A controversial rabbi barred from entering the UK has told followers that a “guaranteed” cure for coronavirus is to heat the back of the throat with a hairdryer, adding that people were “dreaming” if they felt hospital would help them.
Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi, who has in the past said autism and Down’s Syndrome are punishments for sins committed in a past life, and that Jews helped bring about the Holocaust by assimilating, made the coronavirus comments late last month.
Based in New York, Mizrachi has a large online following, including several London-based rabbis, and regularly broadcasts his hours-long pulpit musings, and recently told those who listen that there was a simple “solution” to coronavirus.
“You take a hot hair-blower, you open up your mouth, you blow hot air into your throat… until you feel your throat gets very, very hot inside,” he said. “Twice a day for five minutes. If you do what I tell you it will kill the virus immediately. It’s dead and it’s guaranteed. There are other ways, but it’s not guaranteed. This is guaranteed.”
He added: “If you count on the hospitals to take care of you, then you are dreaming. There’s no more beds. In Israel they told people, ‘don’t come, come after the fever goes away.’ Why? ‘We don’t want to catch it.’… Technically there is nothing they can do for you in hospital.”
Mizrachi said the virus targets weak immune systems, saying: “Weak immune system come from depression, sadness, lack of faith, low spiritual level, anxiety, fear… The more you think like a loser, the more your immune system becomes weak. What’s the solution to prevent those viruses entering the body? Be happy, trust God, focus on your Torah, focus on your prayers…”
The rabbi has caused upset before, last year saying Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis was “a cancer” who would bring about another Holocaust on the Jewish people after Mirvis supported an educational guide urging the protection of Jewish schoolchildren who identify as LGBT+.